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Revelation 6:1-2 & Revelation 13 by Robert Dean
This lesson includes a 10-minute Memorial Day tribute at the beginning of the class.
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:55 mins 43 secs

Antichrist; Tyranny and Slavery Rev. 6:1-2; Rev. 13

 

The end time is characterised by the culmination of all of these hopes and dreams of fallen man against the plan of God. It is that time in history when God is going to pull back all restraint on man's hopes to establish himself independently from God, and in that process of pulling back those restraints we are going to see the culmination of the failures of all of the systems of what the Bible calls worldly thinking to demonstrate that man on his own can never achieve peace, stability, happiness, real joy and success, and that ultimately all the human systems which have been designed to try to bring any sort of stability to the world are doomed to failure. This becomes very clear in the first four judgments in Revelation chapter six.

 

Revelation 6:2 NASB "I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer." That last phrase should be "he went out conquering in order to conquer"; it is a purpose clause. It reveals that the purpose of this final judgment is to allow one to go forth who will execute a conquest in the attempt to unify the kingdom of man. This he will come close to doing by the mid-point of the Tribulation where he will institute a global government.

 

As we look at the first seal judgment the emphasis is on this world leader that will arise and form his kingdom. Understanding what the Bible teaches about the Antichrist is important because of much of Revelation and the events of Revelation are stimulated by his leadership and his attempt to unify the kingdom of man over against God. What is meant by the kingdom of man? This idea can trace itself back to the period after the Noahic flood, the time of the tower of Babel, and the idea behind the tower was that of uniting the human race and establishing a kingdom over against God, in opposition to God, and in hostility to God. We get the sense out of Genesis chapter eleven, because it comes just a short time after the world-wide flood where God has judged humanity, that this is man shaking his fist in God's face and saying that never again will He destroy them, they are going to build this huge tower to heaven so that no matter how many floods may come we will survive on our own and we don't need you. That is the thrust of the mentality of the kingdom of man, the arrogance of man. The arrogance of man is toxic because arrogance always produces disaster. This is exactly what has happened every time man has sought to untie himself against God. Throughout history there has been a restraint from God on the extent of man's evil, and during the church age that restraint is directly related to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in the church age which is primarily manifested in the church. Every person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour is instantly indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, sanctified, set apart as a temple for the indwelling of God the Son. But at the Rapture of the church every person who has put their faith alone in Christ alone, every person who has trusted Jesus Christ as their saviour, will be instantly taken to be with the Lord in the air. The ends the church age. Then there is a period of transition. It is in the midst of the chaos that will come as a result of the Rapture and the removal of so many believers from the earth that one particular individual will rise and, especially in the west, coming our of the territory of the old Roman empire, and he will begin to coalesce power around himself. This is the person we refer to as the Antichrist. 

In Revelation chapter thirteen the Antichrist is referred to as a beast, and this has its foundation in Daniel chapter seven. Revelation 13:1 NASB "And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns {were} ten diadems, and on his heads {were} blasphemous names." This shows that the devil is behind the kingdom of man, and the leader of the kingdom of man in the end tomes will be the Antichrist. This is the first of two beasts. The first beast is the Antichrist; the second is the false prophet. The ten horns represent ten kingdoms. [2] "And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like {those} of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority." This fits exactly with what is seen in Daniel chapter seven which speaks of the beast which comes out of the sea. The sea is a picture of the Gentile nations. So the imagery here in Revelation 13 comes right out of Daniel 7. The end times kingdom is going to pull together all of the strength and characteristics of these earlier manifestations of various kingdoms. [4] "they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?'" So we learn that the Antichrist himself, the beast, is empowered by the dragon. Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 NASB "{that is,} the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." The point here is that he comes with the activity of Satan.

Daniel 11:36 NASB "Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done." So he is hostile to God, and that hostility to God is going to bleed over into a hostility to those whose allegiance is to God, those who worship God. As we will see, this leads to the Antichrist making war against the saints. Revelation 13:7 NASB "It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him." He will amass world-wide power and authority and will make war against the saints. Daniel 7:25 NASB "He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time." So what happens in the end times is that the Antichrist will begin to make war against all who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible. As we will see in the fifth seal in Revelation chapter six this will result in the mass execution and martyrdom of millions of Christians.

In the Tribulation some will turn to God but the vast majority are going to turn against God and lift up their fists, shake then in His face, and they are going to blame God for everything that is happening, and begin to blame all of the believers for what is happening. In that process, once they begin to blame the believers, then they will begin to persecute and imprison them and execute them. We already see trends of this type taking place in different western nations in our time. It is done under the guise of laws to prohibit hate speech, and as such anyone who wants to say that certain minorities such as, for example,  homosexuals are committing a sin and that homosexuality is prohibited by God, is considered to be as heinous as any Nazi who committed genocide against the Jews in WW 2.

In Revelation 13:13, 14 we go on to see that when the Antichrist comes into power his claims to power will be validated by various miracles. NASB "He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life." This is the making of the image of the beast and then putting that into the temple to be worshipped as God.

Finally, what we see in Revelation 13 is that the Antichrist will have control of the global economy: vv. 16, 17 NASB "And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and {he provides} that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, {either} the name of the beast or the number of his name." The point is that he is going to bring complete control of the economy of all commerce to his government. So the trend of history is pointed in the direction of globalisation, larger government, taking away freedom from peoples and individuals, and eventually when it all comes to full fruition it is going to be so in the end time, in the Tribulation period. If Satan thinks that he can establish his kingdom on the earth he has to control everything. That means no one can have any kind of freedom.

When we look at these things we realise that the basic problem is a complete rejection of the five divine institutions that God established in the creation of man. This is the key to being able to make good decisions on anything and to think through current events. The five divine institutions are: a) individual responsibility. There are consequences to bad decisions and no government or anybody else can come in and take away these negative consequences; there is no safety net. This goes all the way through the Mosaic Law. The principles that we find in a free market economy are embedded in the Scripture; marriage—between one man and one woman. You don't try to get around it by this subterfuge of civil union. God established these institutions for believers and unbelievers alike. It is the way He made creation. Attempting to get around it means that everything will eventually fall apart; c) family—the real school, the training ground for future generations; d) human government. The role of human government is to protect us from evil, criminality inside the state, to execute justice and righteousness, and national distinctions. When we forget these things everything else falls apart.  

Deuteronomy 8:18-20 NASB  "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as {it is} this day. It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God." This is part of the Mosaic Law to Israel but the principle applies to any nation. Therefore when there is a violation of the basic laws of establishment no nation can survive.

Illustrations